Continuing to Cultivate Gratitude

“The effects of consciously practicing gratitude have been studied: When compared to merely thinking about significant life events, contemplating daily hassles, or comparing oneself favorably to others, thinking about what one is grateful for increases one’s feelings of well-being, motivation, and positive outlook toward the future.” – Sam Harris in Waking Up

Today I am grateful for…

The rain last night bringing a crystaline clarity to the chill autumn air that nearly moved me to tears three times today when I caught spectacular views of the ocean, more than 20 kilometers away and seldom visible as more than a distant smudge, glowing with life and beauty.

Winning the long-running struggle to get a large VAT refund for my work. It was an excellent opportunity to practice patience, determination and positivity over many months, and I made many friends at the tax office in the process simply be keeping my good humour in the face of many challenges, set-backs, and administrative errors on their part.

Soft candle glow and flickering, dancing flames. “Look mummy the candle’s dancing!” cried my five-year-old with a grin, blowing towards the flame.

New learning and new ways of thinking bringing fresh insight and deeper levels of calm contemplation.

The awareness that having my “basic” needs amply met by a stomach full of delicious food and drink, a warm blanket to shelter me from the cold night air, the comfort of a soft couch, the convenience of my own laptop to type on, and being surrounded by and suffused by love are things never to be taken for granted; things I can be whole-heartedly and deeply grateful for each and every day of my life.

Our dogs cuddled up asleep together on one bed, the sweetest of friends, but woken by the flash when I tried to take a photograph. Much tail-wagging, happy faces and strokes ensued!

Having had a song stuck in my head all day (Ingrid Michaelson, “The Way I Am”), being able to listen to it at last and sing along happily 🙂

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